Why Summer Swimming with Kids Stinks
Friday, June 8th, 2012
I grew up at the swimming pool. When I got to a certain age, my brother and I would wait every day until noon to go to our community pool. We would spend the day being babysat by lifeguards and enjoying ourselves with our friends. No worries, right? It was the perfect way to spend our summers. It is this remembrance of pleasurable time spent at the pool, which causes me to take my own kids swimming as often as possible.
Now, with kids of my own – we don't have the luxury to live in a neighborhood with a community pool. We have instead put up one of those plastic Wal-Mart pools in our yard (which WE LOVE by the way), and on occasion go to the local beaches, pools or water parks.
The problem is that when my children are swimming, I find it entirely impossible to relax.
I spend every single minute at the pool trying to keep up with my youngest and make sure that she doesn’t swallow too much water – AND simultaneously keep an eye on my older kids, who are by now avid swimmers.
Still, when it comes to swimming, I don’t believe there is ever enough supervision.
And I know from personal experience (I was a lifeguard as a teen) that the 16-year-old lifeguard twirling his or her whistle in the lifeguard chair is probably not paying that close attention to my kids.
There is also the issue of other people’s kids at the pool. See, there are some parents who sit in their lawn chairs, eyes closed, with an umbrella drink in hand and just simply trust that their kid can navigate the water well enough. Or they put water wings on them and assume the lifeguards are watching. These parents are definitely getting in their relaxation time – while the rest of us mothers are watching the kids and praying nobody drowns.
It is also impossible as a mother at the pool to float on a raft, swim for herself and actually go under water for more than .5 seconds. I spend all my time in the kiddie side, where the water is ankle or knee deep and feel sort of ridiculous trying to get ‘all the way wet' in 5 inches of water, (which also means that I get really hot and sticky.)
What happens is that by the time I get home, I am a nervous wreck from watching the kids swim all day. I feel like I need wine, and I don’t even drink. And, on top of that, I am sun burnt because I remembered to put sunblock on everyone but myself. This doesn’t make for the pleasurable swimming experience that I remember as a kid.
Suffice it to say, that summer swimming with kids stinks. For moms at least.
Remind me again why I continue to go swimming with my kids?